Paperless Flight Learning Center
(For informational purposes only, for specific questions on your EFB system, application, or other questions please refer to the appropriate FAA guidance or regulation. If you have any questions or comments on this section please direct them towards email@example.com)
FAA AC 91-78 Use of Class 1 or Class 2 Electronic Flight Bag (EFB)
Includes very concise information for Part 91 and the use of Electronic Flight Bag Devices. Provides aircraft owners, operators, and pilots operating aircraft under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 91, with information for removal of paper aeronautical charts and other documentation from the cockpit through the use of either portable or installed cockpit displays (electronic flight bags (EFB)). According to this AC, Class 1 and Class 2 EFB can be used during all phases of flight operations in lieu of paper reference material when the information displayed meets the following criteria:
1- The EFB system does not replace any system or equipment (e.g. navigation, communication, or surveillance system) that is required by 14 CFR part 91.
2- The EFB system on board the aircraft displays only precomposed or interactive information which are functionally equivalent to the paper reference material which the information is replacing or is substituted for.
3- The interactive or precomposed information being used for navigation or performance planning is current, up-to-date, and valid, as verified by the pilot.
4- The operator complies with requirements of 14 CFR part 91, § 91.21 to ensure that the use of the EFB does not interfere with equipment or systems required for flight.
It further clarifies that the in-flight use of an EFB in lieu of paper reference material is the decision of the aircraft operator and the pilot in command. Any Type A or Type B EFB application, as defined in AC 120-76A may be substituted for the paper equivalent. It requires no formal operational approval as long as the guidelines of this AC are followed.
FAA AC 120-76A Guidelines for the Certification, Airworthiness, and Operational Approval of Electronic Flight Bag Computing Devices
Defines EFB, the classifications, types of software, and is mainly applicable to Part 135 & 121 Operations.
Title 14 CFR § 91.21 refers to Portable Electronic Device (PED). As defined in AC 120-76A, Class 1 and 2 EFBs are considered PEDs. 91.21(b)(5) Goes on to state that the PED may be used if and only if: "the operator of the aircraft has determined will not cause interference with the navigation or communication system of the aircraft on which it is to be used."
FAA Notice N 8900.17," Electronic Flight Bag Systems Used in Aircraft Operated Under 14 CFR Part 91", is the FAA Inspector's clarification AC 91-78, AC 120-76A and Notice N 8200.98. It clarifies several issues pertaining to Part 91 (including Subpart F operators). According to Notice N 8900.17, the in-flight use of EFB systems to depict images in lieu of paper reference material is the decision of the aircraft operator and the pilot in command.
So is all of this automation and paperless flying legal with the FAA?
Well, as in much of aviation this question depends on your type of operation. If you are flying part 91 (vast majority of GA and light Business operators) you most likely will be able to fly with only electronic charts at the decision of the Pilot in Command (PIC). In July of 2007 the FAA published FAA AC-91-78 that pertains to the usage of Class 1 or Class 2 Electronic Flight Bags (EFB) to clarify concerns about the usage of EFB's when flying under part 91. Part 135 and 121 may also be able to fly paperless after meeting special FAA requirements. Please feel free to call or email us for clarification and please review FAA AC-120-76A. Offered as an extension to a number of prior advisories and "Job Aides" intended for field inspectors, Advisory Circular 91-78 covers the subject of Electronic Flight Bag. It defines the meaning of both an Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) and an Electronic Chart Display (ECD). ChartCase software performs BOTH of these functions. The FAA goes on to recommend but not require that a secondary source of information be available to the pilot. Most FlightPrep software users accomplish this by loading their software on a second portable system IE: An old laptop, or printing out a spare set of some approach plates.
Many customers and prospective customers contact us to assist in a mission: "Please Help me go paperless and assist me in getting from here to there."
One of the major motivators for using an EFB is to reduce or eliminate the need for paper and other reference materials in the cockpit. The AC's above describe EFB functions, features, and selected hosted applications, and applies to the certification and operational approval of both portable and installed EFBs.FlightPrep has the only EFB solution that really accomplishes that task with your aircraft position on a real Sectional, Low/High Enroute, TAC, WAC, or Approach Plate. So your flying with a digital paper image of the real chart! Not a Vector (Computer driven image of what looks a lot like a chart but leaves things out.) Some confusion comes in when customers compare our system and software to others. Much of this confusion is about what "Charts" you really get with other products. Most other products do not have the real VFR and IFR charts.
What are the different classes of EFB and which one do I need or do I have?
Do I need to have a
solid state disk drive if I am flying a pressurized aircraft in case of
Do I need to have decompression
testing completed for my EFB equipment?
More to come in the Paperless Learning Center!
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